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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-84-174-1490, Denver General Hospital, Denver, Colorado.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 84-174-1490, 1984 Jul; :1-6
Environmental and breathing zone samples were analyzed for ethylene- oxide (75218) at Denver General Hospital (SIC-8062), Denver, Colorado in May, 1984. The survey was requested by the management of the central supply department to evaluate potential health hazards from exposures to ethylene-oxide used for sterilizing instruments and other items in the hospital. Interviews were conducted with three technicians and two supervisors. Only two of ten samples exceeded the analytical detection limit of 0.001 milligram per cubic meter (mg/m3). A breathing zone concentration of 0.09mg/m3 was found on a technician unloading a sterilizer and a concentration of sterilizer. The OSHA standard for ethylene-oxide is 90mg/m3. No medical problems were reported by the employees who were interviewed. The author concludes that a health hazard due to ethylene-oxide does not exist at the hospital. He recommends that only qualified, trained individuals be permitted to use the sterilizer, all new personnel be briefed on ethylene-oxide toxicity, and the ventilation and door gaskets of the sterilizer be checked once a month.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Region-8; Toxic-vapors; Safety-education; Air-quality-measurement; Equipment-operators; HETA-84-174-1490; Author Keywords: General Medical and Surgical Hospitals; Ethylene Oxide; Gas Sterilization
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division